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Middle East: Armed Conflict

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 8th November 2011.

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Photo of Katy Clark Katy Clark Labour, North Ayrshire and Arran

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 24 October 2011, Official Report, column 534W, on prisoners, whether he has recently (a) raised concerns with and (b) issued statements to the government of Israel in relation to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons.

Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

I discussed this matter during my visit in June with the Minister of Justice, indicating the UK's concerns about both the detention and the treatment of Palestinian prisoners, including children. The British ambassador to Tel Aviv most recently raised the issue on 26 October during his visit to the Israel Prison Service complex, at the invitation of the Public Security Minister, where there are around 4,500 security detainees. He raised concerns over visitation rights and the treatment of minors, particularly cuffing and shackling. In his discussions with the Public Security Minister, the ambassador stressed the importance the UK placed on Israel fulfilling its obligations under international law.

The Government of Israel has reaffirmed to us its commitment to treating prisoners in line with international human rights standards. The UK will continue to monitor the situation with regard to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons and encourage the Government of Israel to meet its stated commitments.

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